Belinda Point Trail / Photo: Mendocino Land Trust
Of the many places to hike in and around Fort Bragg
, the Haul Road Recreation Trail
is a favorite. Park your car downtown and head out on a former Union Lumber Company railroad bridge converted to pedestrian and bicycle use in 2007. You’ll cross the 515-foot-long Pudding Creek Trestle and emerge onto the Haul Road (also known as Ten Mile Beach Trail). It’s flat, paved and comes with sweeping ocean views.
The new, dog-friendly Noyo Headlands segment of the California Coastal Trail
is another jewel for the easy-hike crowd. It’s a multi-use, ADA-accessible paved trail with great views, adequate parking, restrooms, interpretive panels and cool benches made by local artists (see instructions online for how to access it). The trail connects on the north to gorgeous MacKerricher State Park and on the south end at Noyo Harbor and Pomo Bluffs Park. Years in he making, these trails encompass five miles of dog-friendly terrain.
Speaking of MacKerricher State Park
: Simply said, don’t miss it! It’s a rarity in the state park system in that it’s more dog-friendly than most, with leashed four-legged companions allowed to accompany you on some trails and beaches. They’re allowed in campgrounds, too but book early, as this is one of the most popular parks in the North State.
Another idea: Belinda Point Trail
, just over a half-mile long and perfect for families with small children. A boardwalk leads through a seasonally wet part of the trail, which then travels through a eucalyptus forest and out to the edge of a bluff from where a sturdy stairway leaves down to the pocket cove.